Tag Archives: Brain Damage

New study: prenatal exposure to smoked or ingested marijuana harms children

Number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who used marijuana
CO drivers involved in fatal crashes who used marijuana (Source: Denver Post)

Whenever debating moral issues, I find that the most useful approach is to is to appeal to scientific studies. Although people today tend to be skeptical of philosophical or religious arguments, they can’t deny the success of science in solving problems in the real world. With that said, here is a recent study showing some previously unknown effects of marijuana use.

The Scientist reports:

When marijuana is ingested or smoked during pregnancy, exogenous cannabinoids enter the blood and cross easily through the placental barrier due to their highly lipophilic nature. Pairing this ready availability with slow pharmacokinetics—active metabolites continue circulating for up to five days depending on dosage and frequency of use—fetal exposure to the active compounds in cannabis is both efficient and prolonged.

[…]To date, the three largest longitudinal studies of the children of women who smoked marijuana once a week or more during their pregnancies have identified remarkably consistent outcomes during early development and through young adulthood. In infants, these include increased impulsivity, hyperactivity, and delinquent behaviors, as well as memory dysfunction and decreased IQ scores. During adolescence and early adulthood, fetal cannabis exposure has been linked to persistent reduction in memory and concentration, higher rates of drug use, and an increased incidence of hyperactivity, signs of depression, and psychotic and schizophrenic-like symptoms. These mental health issues are further evidenced by increased reports from both parents and schoolteachers of problematic behavior and delinquency in cannabis-exposed kids.

What I thought was most interesting was how the intuitions of pregnant women in America conflict with what the science showed:

[…]70 percent of women in the United States believe that there is “slight or no risk of harm” in using cannabis during pregnancy. And about 4 percent of pregnant women in the US report using the drug during gestation, just like Carol. Of expectant moms between the ages of 18 and 25, this number is nearly 7.5 percent.

It’s a scary thing when a person generates their views by how they make them feel, or whether other people like them for their views. But that seems to be so popular these days, especially with the young people. Right and wrong is decided by how consenting adults feel about things, in the moment. It seems to me that the only way to break through the feelings is with science that shows the real consequences of the immoral behavior.

(Image source: Denver Post)

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Feminism’s new plan to achieve lasting happiness without giving up promiscuity

Do young women understand how to get to a stable marriage?
Do young women understand how to get to a stable marriage?

The article that I am linking to in TODAY’s post is from the far-left Huffington Post. Please do not read the article if you are under 30. Huffington Post, like most radical feminism web sites, has dropped down to the level of 50 Shades of Gray. Reader discretion is advised. But I had to write about their article because it really shows you that radical feminists are not innocent little doves hoping for traditional marriage and children.

First, a little introduction. Radical feminism is a rejection of traditional sex roles for men and women, and the committed union of men and women in marriage.

Here is what radical feminists oppose:

  • female sobriety when among the opposite sex
  • male sobriety when among the opposite sex
  • female chastity prior to marriage
  • male chastity prior to marriage
  • women preparing for the traditional roles of wife and mother
  • men preparing for the traditional roles of protector, provider, moral leader and spiritual leader
  • paying for their own condoms and birth control pills
  • men who are pro-life and pro-natural-marriage

Radical feminism wants nothing to do with men who are sober and chaste. The only real way to decide whether a man is good or bad – for a radical feminist – is whether he is attractive looking and does not try to lead women or hold them accountable morally or spiritually. Men are just accessories designed to provide women with fun and thrills. They are not to be selected for their ability to perform “sexist” virtues like chivalry, providing or leadership.

Now, feminists have been very unhappy lately, because their plan for forming relationships (focus on career, choose hot guys, get drunk, have premarital sex, wait by the phone, claim that all men are evil when no one calls, repeat) doesn’t work. But radical feminists don’t see the problem with their promiscuity plan. They don’t think that marriage is a good thing, because it has unfair sex roles. And they don’t think that women or men should prepare for commitment by being sober, chaste and self-sacrificial. They think that they can choose pleasure right now, and at every moment following, and that this will somehow work out to provide them with lasting love, support and intimacy as they grow older. Somehow, after they tire of sexual revolutionisting with the hot guys, they will easily be able to find a man who is simultaneously hot and sober, faithful, committed, and a great father to whichever children she decided not to abort. And if this plan doesn’t “work out”, then it’s the fault of patriarchy and toxic masculinity.

The Huffington Post article explains why radical feminists think that their plan is failing:

[…][S]ome straight women have thrown their hands up in despair at the prospect of dealing with straight men. These men, who grope us and talk down to us and consistently fail to clean the bathroom ― we’re supposed to make lives with them? Let them touch us?

Women woke up one day to find that their husbands voted for Donald Trump and their sons have been ***posting on incel boards. Even before we heard the claims about Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment and assault and the ensuing avalanche of other horrifying Me Too allegations, we heard about our president grabbing women “by the pussy,” Bill Cosby feeding women roofies, and R. Kelly allegedly sexually exploiting young girls. So many straight men, we have been forced to accept, are bad to and for us. Why would we take the enormous risk of loving one of them?

All the bad boy leftist men they freely chose to have premarital sex with for money or career advancement failed to please them. And all men must be the same. After all, radical feminists rejected traditional male virtues and roles as “sexist”. Instead, they decided to have premarital sex with secular leftists like Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, Elliot Spitzer, etc. Those men are fun and thrilling, and might even help your career. If these relationships failed, then surely the relationships not chosen – the ones with the sober, chaste, responsible men – would have failed, too, right? You don’t expect a woman to have a relationship with someone who doesn’t support abortion and gay marriage, do you? How could a man who is pro-child and pro-marriage possibly be suitable for commitment and parenting? Just choose the hot ones who make you tingle, and then generalize about all men from those failed experiments.

More:

One seductive yet impossible fantasy might be the romantic attention of a man who lacks the exhausting baggage of male entitlement.

To find such a fantastical being, women ― in fiction, at least ― have turned to the sea.

Yes, the radical feminists are turning to the sea to find fictional mermen who meet their feminist ideals for relationships.

More:

Lucy, the protagonist of The Pisces, is newly single, running out of time to finish her dissertation, and spiraling out of control.

[…]Despite the therapy sessions, Lucy can’t stop searching for male attention to restore her sense of desirability and worth. Before each encounter with a prospect, she feels buoyant and eager, but again and again, she’s left sexually and emotionally unfulfilled, in part because the men don’t much care whether she’s enjoying herself.

One man she meets on an app ― a hot younger dude in an open relationship ― convinces her to have sex with him in the lobby bathroom of an upscale hotel. It’s quick and mediocre. She doesn’t come. Afterward, he leaves without telling her, stranding her alone at the hotel bar. Lucy thought the encounter would be something different, that it would make her feel deliriously sexy and desired.  She tries not to let herself feel sad about how transparently he was using her to fulfill his fantasy while her own went entirely ignored. What she wants is for even this one-time fling to care desperately about making her come, for his world to narrow around her pleasure, even for just a few minutes.

Wow, the hot bad boys don’t care about the women who choose them for irresponsible recreational premarital sex? If only there were some way to keep a man committed? It can’t be marriage though, and acting like a wife. That’s “sexist”. I’m surprised that having recreational premarital sex with a hot, promiscuous pro-abortion pro-gay-marriage Democrat doesn’t lead to the woman enjoying herself in the long term.

It’s mermen to the rescue, though:

When she begins to fall for Theo, a tautly handsome swimmer she keeps seeing in the ocean near her sister’s beachside home, it seems like she may have found the something that couldn’t exist. Theo looks decades younger than her, but he is fascinated by her. He seeks her out, pulling up by the rocks at the edge of the beach to talk with her night after night. He wants to kiss her, then give her oral sex for hours under the stars. Soon, she learns that there’s a reason he initially stayed submerged from the waist down during their encounters: He’s what we might call a merman, and instead of legs he has a scaly tail.

Like the creature in “The Shape of Water,” Theo seems to be an exception to the rule of toxic straight maleness. Where other men hurt, threaten and betray, these unhuman beings pleasure, console and conspire with women.

[…]Her ex toys with her emotions; the men she dates are sexually selfish and reckless with her health. But Theo is different, both because he has a scaly tail instead of legs, and because he proclaims to be devoted to her and her pleasure.

After some discussion about the wonders of the merman’s equipment, (so important to a radical feminist!), we read this:

….there’s also an unmistakable queerness to these mythical, human-like creatures. They transgress the boundaries of what society traditionally demands from a male body. Lucy even notes a feminine quality to Theo…

[…]This story is a seductive one, especially to straight women who yearn to get outside of the oppressive structures and expectations of their dating realm. What if we found men who were different? Who were in touch with their emotions, called themselves “feminist allies” for reasons other than wanting to center themselves in the movement, enjoyed giving us orgasms, texted right after the first date?

Wow, she will get treated so well, and without having to marry him (sexist!), or commit to care for his needs (patriarchy!), or fulfill loving obligations for him in a restrictive long-term commitment (slavery!).

She can have sex with a hot sexy effeminate fish who is DECADES younger than she is, who doesn’t have a job or savings, and who isn’t able to be a father to children in any normal sense. But who cares! As long as he wants to give her orgasms, and he’s young and hot, and doesn’t try to tell her to get a real degree, or to get a real job, or to grow up and get married and have children who can take care of her in her old age. The merman provides all that’s important to radical feminists.

And I’m sure that this plan is sustainable, too. He will love her just as much when she is old and wrinkly, because giving a merman premarital sex always makes him commit self-sacrificially for life. That’s the power of recreational premarital sex – it turns irresponsible young hot mermen into pleasure-giving slaves for life.

New study: college students who lost access to marijuana improved their grades

Investigation in progress
Investigation in progress

This is from the radically leftist fake news site Washington Post, of all places. Thankfully, the study was done by scientists, not by journalists.

Excerpt:

The most rigorous study yet of the effects of marijuana legalization has identified a disturbing result: College students with access to recreational cannabis on average earn worse grades and fail classes at a higher rate.

Economists Olivier Marie and Ulf Zölitz took advantage of a decision by Maastricht, a city in the Netherlands, to change the rules for “cannabis cafes,” which legally sell recreational marijuana. Because Maastricht is very close to the border of multiple European countries (Belgium, France and Germany), drug tourism was posing difficulties for the city. Hoping to address this, the city barred noncitizens of the Netherlands from buying from the cafes.

This policy change created an intriguing natural experiment at Maastricht University, because students there from neighboring countries suddenly were unable to access legal pot, while students from the Netherlands continued.

The research on more than 4,000 students, published in the Review of Economic Studies, found that those who lost access to legal marijuana showed substantial improvement in their grades. Specifically, those banned from cannabis cafes had a more than 5 percent increase in their odds of passing their courses. Low performing students benefited even more, which the researchers noted is particularly important because these students are at high-risk of dropping out. The researchers attribute their results to the students who were denied legal access to marijuana being less likely to use it and to suffer cognitive impairments (e.g., in concentration and memory) as a result.

Other studies have tried to estimate the impact of marijuana legalization by studying those U.S. states that legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana. But marijuana policy researcher Rosalie Pacula of RAND Corporation noted that the Maastricht study provide evidence that “is much better than anything done so far in the United States.”

The author of that article is a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University. Should be reliable.

The best way to learn about the effects of legalizing drugs like marijuana is to look at where it’s been tried. We don’t have to look far, just to Colorado.

The Daily Signal reports on a peer-reviewed study about Colorado.

Excerpt:

A published academic peer-reviewed study and another thorough study set to be released next Monday show:

  • An increase in marijuana-related traffic fatalities in Colorado since 2009
  • An increase in marijuana-related traffic fatalities in Colorado compared to non-“medical marijuana” states since 2009
  • Alcohol-related fatalities remained the same

[…]Marijuana was in essence legalized in Colorado in 2009, when the state commercialized the sale of so-called “medical marijuana.” By commercializing the sale, and thus consumption of marijuana across the state, the state saw a large increase in use by its citizens, and citizens from other states, so-called pot tourists.

In other words, 2009 was a pivotal year for Colorado and its’ drivers.

In the three years prior to 2009 (2006-2008), Colorado averaged 35 drivers per year who tested positive for marijuana in fatal accidents.

In the three years after 2009 (2010-2012), Colorado averaged 57.3 drivers per year who tested positive for marijuana use in fatal accidents—a 64 percent increase over the pre-2009 numbers.

And here is another report that explains some of the other effects of legalizing marijuana.

Excerpt:

According to the new report by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area entitled “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact,” the impact of legalized marijuana in Colorado has resulted in:

  1. The majority of DUI drug arrests involve marijuana and 25 to 40 percent were marijuana alone.
  2. In 2012, 10.47 percent of Colorado youth ages 12 to 17 were considered current marijuana users compared to 7.55 percent nationally. Colorado ranked fourth in the nation, and was 39 percent higher than the national average.
  3. Drug-related student suspensions/expulsions increased 32 percent from school years 2008-09 through 2012-13, the vast majority were for marijuana violations.
  4. In 2012, 26.81 percent of college age students were considered current marijuana users compared to 18.89 percent nationally, which ranks Colorado third in the nation and 42 percent above the national average.
  5. In 2013, 48.4 percent of Denver adult arrestees tested positive for marijuana, which is a 16 percent increase from 2008.
  6. From 2011 through 2013 there was a 57 percent increase in marijuana-related emergency room visits.
  7. Hospitalizations related to marijuana has increased 82 percent since 2008.

The report includes other data about the negative effect of legalizing marijuana in Colorado, including marijuana-related exposure to children, treatment, the flood of marijuana in and out of Colorado, the dangers of pot extraction labs and other disturbing factual trends.

Part of me thinks that posting this is futile. Sensible people will not be surprised by these studies, but the libertarians and Democrats who think that legalized pot is just wonderful are probably so brain-damaged already that they won’t care what studies say at all. Marijuana is dangerous and addictive. We shouldn’t legalize it, and we shouldn’t normalize it.

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New study: long-term marijuana use causes decline in memory in middle age

I have a key that will unlock a puzzling mystery
I have a key that will unlock a puzzling mystery

Cool new study reported by Reuters.

It says:

As marijuana becomes more accessible to young and old alike in the U.S., researchers warn that long-term use of the drug may cause lasting harm to at least one type of brain function.

A new study based on following thousands of young adults into middle age finds that long-term marijuana use is linked to poorer performance on verbal memory tests, but other areas of brain function do not appear to be affected.

“We did not expect to find such a consistent association with verbal memory for chronic exposure to marijuana,” especially since the link held even when other factors like cigarette smoking, alcohol use and other behavioral factors associated with marijuana use were accounted for, said lead author Dr. Reto Auer of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Auer and colleagues analyzed data from a 25-year U.S. study of young adults, which included repeated measures of marijuana exposure over time and a standardized test of verbal memory, processing speed and executive function in year 25. Almost 3,500 participants completed the standardized tests.

At the beginning of the study period in the 1980s, participants were 18 to 30 years old and more than 80 percent reported past marijuana use. Just 12 percent continued to use marijuana into middle age, according to the results in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers found that as past years of marijuana use increased, verbal memory scores decreased. In practical terms, the results meant that for every additional five years of exposure, 50 percent of marijuana users would remember one less word from a list of 15 tested words.

“Recreational marijuana users use it to get high, to benefit from the transient change it produces,” Auer told Reuters Health by email. “But this transient effect might have long term consequences on the way the brain processes information and could also have direct toxic effects on neurons.”

What I am finding out as I age is that I have to keep pushing back the date of my “retirement”. I thought I  could quit working at 30, then 35, then 40. Now I am thinking 45 before I can be more free. The point is that the world is becoming a more difficult place to be independent. A lot of government spending is going on, and a lot of debt is being added to our national debt. I may never be able to stop working. And it’s a good thing that I will have all my faculties intact when I have to keep working. Be careful with exchanging short-term fun and thrills for long-term poverty. Things are not getting easier, you’ll have to work just to get by.

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After legalizing marijuana, Colorado sees higher number of “daily” users

Lee Strobel tweeted this story from the Denver Post.

Excerpt:

As marijuana legalization took hold in Colorado, the estimated percentage of regular cannabis users in the state jumped to the second-highest level in the country, according to new federal data.

When asked, roughly one out of every eight Colorado residents over the age of 12 reported using marijuana in the previous month. Only Rhode Island topped Colorado in the percentage of residents who reported using marijuana as frequently.

The results come from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and represent the average of estimates gathered in 2012 and 2013.

[…]State-specific data from the survey are averaged over two-year periods to compensate for relatively small sample sizes.

For the 2011-12 period, 10.4 percent of Coloradans 12 and older reported using marijuana in the month prior to being surveyed. That placed Colorado seventh in the country for monthly marijuana use.

Monthly use in Colorado jumped to 12.7 percent — a 22 percent increase — in the 2012-13 data. The result means the survey estimates about 530,000 people in Colorado use marijuana at least once a month.

Nationally, monthly marijuana use by people 12 and older nudged upward by about 4 percent to 7.4 percent. In Washington state — which, like Colorado, in 2012 legalized marijuana use and limited possession for adults — monthly marijuana use rose by about 20 percent to 12.3 percent.

Kleiman said researchers will get a better idea about marijuana use in Colorado once they are able to zoom in on data showing how many people use marijuana daily. A study commissioned by Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division this year found that people who use marijuana almost every day account for about 22 percent of cannabis users in Colorado but consume nearly 67 percent of the marijuana used. Other studies have warned about a possible uptick in heavy marijuana use.

“The fraction of people who are monthly users who are in fact daily users has gone way, way up,” Kleiman said.

Monthly marijuana use increased across all age groups in Colorado, according to the new survey numbers. The number of people who reported using marijuana in the past year also increased in Colorado in the 2012-13 data, but the state ranked only sixth nationally in the measurement. Measurements for alcohol consumption and illicit drug use increased, as well.

What will be interesting will be to see how this increased usage affects tax revenues and the crime rate. I think when more people use mind-altering drugs, it is going to harm their ability to get and keep jobs, which affects tax revenue. And when people are addicted to something, they are more inclined to take a risk on committing a crime to get the money to pay for their next fix. Should be interesting to learn from Colorado’s little experiment.

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